The Lady’Backs return to the pool, Friday, Jan. 20, for the first meet in over a month, when the team travels to Gainesville, Fla., to face Southeastern Conference foes Florida and Alabama. Florida leads the series 0-1 when the Lady’Backs fell to the Gators in the 2003-04 season. Alabama lead the all-time series 1-5. Last season, the Crimson Tide defeated Arkansas, 74-59.
Originally scheduled for Jan. 14, the meet with Tulane was cancelled due to financial impacts of Hurricane Katrina. The Green Wave has suspended many of the athletic programs due to the disaster.
Arkansas opened the conference season with a 150-120 loss to Kentucky, Dec. 3. Junior Mariann Fulop and freshman Summer Jackson led the squad with victories in the 100 back and 50 free, respectively. The duo also recorded a pair of second-place finishes, Fulop in the 200 back and Jackson in the 100 free.
Sophomore Brieanne Kushner won the three-meter springboard against Kentucky with a season-best score of 287.33.
A Near Miss
In the Kentucky meet, freshman Elizabeth Engs took second place in the 200 breaststroke while nearly setting a season-best time.
After missing the first five meets of the season because of a shoulder injury, sophomore Emily Gregory returned to competition against Kentucky and swam in the sprint freestyle races.
The Lady’Back relays led the squad at the Indiana Invitational. Arkansas set season best times in the 200-free relay, 200-medley relay, 400-free relay and the 800-free relay.
Odds and Ends
Freshman Lonnie Strange had a very productive meet at Indiana when she set five season-best times including a three second improvement in the 100 back.
The Lady’Backs recorded their best finishes of the Indiana Invitation in the 200-medley relay and 100 freestyle events. Jackson was third in the 100 free and she was a member of the third-place relay team along with Fulop, freshman Jesika Heidloff and junior Kristen Thibodeaux.
Back in Business
In Indiana, Fulop dominated the backstroke events for the Lady’Backs leading the team with a fourth-place finish in the 100 back and a fifth-place in the 200 back.
A Long Mile
In the first 1,650 freestyle event of the season, freshman Macey Webb took seventh with a time of 17:42.54 at the invitational.
For the third consecutive meet, the Lady’Backs recorded a quick start. The relay team of Fulop, Heidloff, Thibodeaux and Jackson won the 400-medley against Houston.
Jackson was undefeated in the first three meets of the year. Against Houston, Jackson won the 50 free and 100 fly.
The Lady’Backs ended the Houston meet on a high note after sophomore Tifanie Silver, Webb, Emily Fletcher and Engs won the 400-free relay. Fulop, Heidloff, Thibodeaux and Jackson gave Arkansas a third-place finish in the 200-medley relay in the Rice Invitational.
Follow the Leader
At the Rice Invitational, Heidloff paced the Lady’Back squad with a first-place finish in the 200 breaststroke also took second in the 100 breast.
Fletcher was impressive at the Rice Invitational as she scored for the Lady’Backs with a seventh-place finish in the 200 fly.
In an Instant
Bentonville, Ark., native, freshman Dashya Kimmel recorded a lifetime best mark in the 200 back at the Rice Invitational.
Arkansas finished first and second in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events with quality performances from Heidloff and Engs. Heidloff has won all of the breaststroke events in both the Nebraska and Drury meets.
Thibodeaux earned her first individual victory of the season in the 200 fly against Drury. Fletcher followed with a second-place finish.
In the Zone
In only the second meet of the season, redshirt freshman Madison Palmer and sophomore Brieanne Kushner made NCAA Zone Diving qualifying standards, on the one meter and three meter, respectively, while sweeping the diving events.
At Drury, the Lady’Backs recorded 15 season best marks. Senior Angela Kora, freshman Lonnie Strange, Fulop, Fletcher and Kushner improved their season best in two events.
Against Nebraska, Jackson led the Lady’Backs winning three individual events. Jackson took top honors in the 50 free, 100 free and 100 fly.
The Lady’Backs didn’t waste anytime against Nebraska. Arkansas finished first and second in the 200-medley relay.
Heidloff swept the breaststroke events against Nebraska winning the 100 and 200 breast.
In the 100 back, Fulop took control race as she finished more than three seconds before the next competitor.